13 Reasons Why scenes are triggering



By Naomi McKinnie, CONTRIBUTOR

Rape. Murder. Addiction.
If these words strike deep in your core, then the latest season of “13 Reasons Why” could be the show for you.
However, this should serve as a warning for young viewers who have experienced trauma. Some of the scenes may cause an emotional reaction to the vivid scenes displayed in the new season of the Netflix Original series “13 Reasons Why”.
“Who killed Bryce Walker?” is the focus of the newly released season three. In season one, Hannah Baker, a 16- year-old girl commits suicide leaves behind a series of tapes listing the 13 reasons why she killed herself. Baker accuses Walker in the tapes of raping her and another female student, which led to Walker being put on trial in season two. He was then removed from the high school he was attending and put into a private all-boys academy.
When Walker goes missing, his murdered body is found in a local marina and everyone becomes a suspect who has had negative interactions with him. One by one, the main characters are taken into questioning until the killer is finally revealed.
Throughout the season you see the characters’ storylines continue to develop. The show depicts the mental health issues concerning these characters in dramatized scenes that could be triggering to some viewers.
Mental health is an issue that people are being made more aware of because of mass shootings and movements like Me Too are sparking conversations. Violence, abuse (sexual, mental, physical), and bullying are topics producers of shows like “13 Reasons Why” are not shying away from.
“Trauma, (like bullying, abuse, and gun violence), where a young person is made to feel terror and helplessness, impacts the brain, body, and sense of security in the world,” Sarah Crouch, a psychologist at the University of California, San Francisco Intensive Family Therapy at the Young Adult and Family Center said in an interview.
Characters like Jessica Davis, Tyler Downs, and Justin Foley all have experienced rape or sexual assault. They go into detail about their experiences with either vivid scenes or dark monologues recounting the abuse.
Other characters struggle with challenges in their home life. Montgomery De La Cruz, a student-athlete, suffered an abusive relationship with his father, which led to deep-rooted anger and aggression that he then used to inflict pain onto other students.
“Watching imagery depicting violent events on television can be a “trigger,” or something that makes the brain put your body into survival mode,” Crouch said. “It can be a reminder of trauma that one has experienced.”
Before the season begins, the cast issues a trigger warning. They warn viewers of the sensitive content displayed and offer resources available on its website 13reasonswhy.info.